Yay for another Career Interview! Today I'm showcasing the fabulous Jillian "JJ" Simmons, a proud mommy and very accomplished on-air personality who has worked with people like Wendy Williams and at NYC's WBLS radio station (107.5). Jillian is a self starter who without waiting for or relying on anyone to help her out, moved to NYC her senior year of college to pursue her dreams of working in radio. A dream that she's fully living today. Enjoy her interview!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your current job function and industry - What do you do for a living?
My name is Jillian "JJ' Simmons. I am a radio personality for 979 The Box in Houston where I host the Midday Show 10AM-3PM and I am also the Founder of JJ's I'm Me Foundation and SingleMomsRock.com.
How did you begin on this career path?
I started off as an intern in high school at a local hip hop and R&B station and worked my way on up!
Is your line of work related to what you studied in college? Do you have any advanced degrees?
I actually left college my senior year because what I was going to college for I had already been doing for 3 years while in school. I left school to move to NYC and follow my dreams. I do, however, plan to go back and finish.
As a woman, what is one of the biggest lessons you've learnt working for and growing in a company?
It's all about who you know. Networking is a HUGE part of being successful. It's all about knowing the right people and building great relationships.
Can you tell us about one of your biggest career successes?
I moved to NYC in 2001. I didn't have a job. I just saved enough money to pay rent for two months. I only wanted to work for one radio station in the city - WBLS. I called the Program Director almost everyday for 3 months until he finally gave me an interview. From there, he hired me part-time and then that turned into a full time position. I even worked with Wendy Williams. It was my dream come true.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Meeting amazing people. My listeners, not celebrities. They mean more to me than the celebs. I really meet some incredible people.
Do you have any advice you can share with women reading this who would like pursue a career in your industry?
I would just suggest that they really research the industry. Unfortunately, this is not a growing industry. Back in the good old days all you had to have was a great voice. As time went on, you had to have a great voice and a great personality. Now, you have to have a great voice, outstanding personality, be able to blog, write, master social media, do public speaking, be active in the community and know how to make videos! We are in the multi-media business now. You have to know a lot more than just how to talk on the radio.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself running my business full time and possibly transitioning out of radio. I can see JJ's I'm Me Tour going all around the world!
What is your money mantra?
I am wealthy.
Please share a fun fact about yourself
I am a Karaoke Queen!!! LOL